The human brain is like a powerful machine, storing our memories and controlling how we as humans think and react. And just like any well-oiled machine, it requires ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal performance over time. So, whether you are 15 or 50, now is the perfect time to start thinking about head to toe wellness. To help you get your wheels turning, check out these five tips for achieving a happier and healthier mind for a longer, more fulfilling life ahead.
1. Be physically active.
Being physically active unlocks a number of health benefits in your body, your heart, your metabolism and your mind. Studies show the feel-good endorphins released during aerobic exercise has a positive effect on the brain, helping to relieve stress, combat depression and reduce anxiety. Adults 18 to 60 years old should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of moderately-intense aerobic physical activity or 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. Engaging in activities such as taking a brisk walk, going on a light jog or bike ride and hitting the gym can have amazing emotional benefits while helping you to achieve other lifestyle goals.
2. Eat your fruits and vegetables.
As parents, it’s our job to remind our kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, but sometimes we forget that our bodies require the same nutrients, if not more of them, to function properly. The truth is, all foods play a role in your body’s health, but some are more crucial than others to particular organs. Fruits and vegetables, loaded with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, have powerful antioxidant potential to help maintain brain function and mental agility into older age. As you plan your menu for the week, be sure to include antioxidant-rich produce, such as berries, leafy greens and purple vegetables, for a healthy and tasty way to sharpen your mind.
3. Drink more water.
In addition to helping boost your metabolism and maintain the balance of fluids in your body, drinking more water can have incredible benefits on your mind. Thirst is your body’s way of letting you know it is dehydrated. Dehydration can cause you to get headaches, feel sluggish and can even affect you mood, leading to feelings of sadness, grumpiness and confusion. Making sure you stay hydrated by drinking the recommended eight 8-ounce glass of water each day is the easiest way to ensure your mind is reaching its full potential.
4. Form a support network.
Studies show that having a supportive social network reduces isolation and stress, while stimulating the brain through shared learning experiences. Keeping a healthy mind involves maintaining relationships and finding new ways to broaden social horizons. Even things as simple as joining a club, exploring new hobbies, volunteering in your community or scheduling a time to meet with friends for coffee can refresh and rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit.
5. Visit the doctor regularly.
When you think about going to your doctor, it’s likely you expect a routine checkup of your physical health, including a measurement of your weight and height, evaluation of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and other health maintenance tests. While receiving a regular physical examination is equally important to your overall health, your primary care physician is also highly trained to support your mental and emotion health, too. From mental health risk assessments and screening, to family counseling and pregnancy planning, scheduling your annual physical exam with your regular physician ensures care for your emotional and mental well-being throughout each stage of life.
Taking care of your mind to feel healthier and happier is a no-brainer. The best way to keep your mind strong is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make routine visits to your doctor. Don’t have a physician or want to explore your options? Use our Find a Doctor tool to locate one in your area.
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